Prescription Drug Abuse Essay

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PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE The Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse in America Patricia Clark Composition II Kimmarie Lewis Kaplan University Prescription drugs are just as deadly and addictive as illicit drugs and often just as easy to get purchase without a prescription. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription drug abuse by definition is the taking of a prescription medication that is not prescribed to you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed. The common misconception is that prescription drugs are not as dangerous or addictive as illicit drugs because the medication is prescribed by a physician. Some people believe that it is not as dangerous and the chance for addiction is not as high when in fact when not taken correctly prescription medications are just as addictive. Prescription drugs are only safe when taken by the person they are prescribed to and always under a physician’s care. Some prescription medications are more addictive than others. These would include narcotic pain killers like OxyContin or Vicodin, stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, and sedatives like Xanax or Valium. These medications are only addictive when not used properly. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2009, 16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed (). All medication can pose a risk and undesirable side effects, sometimes even serious ones. Doctors consider the benefits and the risks based on the patient’s medical history before prescribing medications (Volkow, N). They understand the way that the drug will affect the patient’s body and take this into account. Studies have shown that people who take

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